Monday, November 28, 2022


Dear John,

You know how your family gets - relentless positivity is always preferred. Let's talk about what we're thankful for. Well, I could absolutely not do that this year. It's not that I am unaware of all my advantages. I am grateful for so many things. But I am also terribly sad to spend my first Thanksgiving this century without talking to you. Even when you were in Uzbekistan, I could still talk to you. And I resent that this year has brought the deaths of 5 people I know...and only one of them was from Covid. So I was not going to be able to muster up any positivity at all.

The problem was that none of my other choices were attractive either. I couldn't stay home and make a turkey and mashed potatoes for 2. I didn't feel like driving 3-5 hours to my sisters' houses. (I should have gone to my oldest sister's though. My niece's boyfriend, who is 46 to her 25, came to dinner.) I thought about volunteering, but didn't have the energy. S finally said "When are you going to decide what we're doing for Thanksgiving?" So we went to my closest sister's. 

It was nice.  We had a basic dinner.  I made apple & pear crisp for dessert.  S had a good time with her cousins - you know how she and E like to irritate each other.  I appreciate that you were open to E coming to visit when she was in college here.  You were always good to the nieces and nephews, even when they were working on your nerves.  We also did a couple touristy things.  You would have liked visiting the town we went to see.  

Your friend B sent a text - he was missing his mom on his first Thanksgiving without her.  I don't' know if he managed to get anything out of her husband or if he's still fighting.  He's a good guy.  

I'm about to be off for most of December.  I'm going to start going through your watch stuff.  That's going to be a chore.  I wish you were here selling that stuff and messing with it.  Keeping me company while I paint.  I miss you.



Monday, November 7, 2022

Veteran's Day

 Hmmm - maybe that's the reason I'm kinda down this week.  Veteran's Day was the only day of the year where you were guaranteed to make a plan, get out of the house, and sort of enjoy yourself by taking advantage of all the free meals available to veterans.  We'd have a trip for breakfast and a trip for lunch.  You'd get White Castle sandwiches, and coffee from everywhere.  You'd get Little Caesar's pizza, Chicken Salad Chick selections, vouchers from Freddie's and Texas Roadhouse, and every year you'd even dine out - something you almost never did - at Red Robin to get your Tavern Double Burger.  You would definitely be telling me to take your ID and collect your vouchers and pizzas and stuff while telling the businesses that you couldn't leave the house.  You were determined to get back everything you had given to the Army, however you had to do it.  

I'm getting the house power-washed today.  My friends recommended a guy - he seems nice in spite of his apparent political leanings.  S asked if we couldn't find someone more like-minded to do the work, but I told her it wasn't likely.  I had my Planned Parenthood postcard in the window when he came to do the estimate, so I'm sure he knows where I stand.  I hope he gets all the crap off the side of the house - he says he has a telescoping brush, but you know...been there, done that, and still had to get the ladder out to get as high as we could reach.  We shall see if I have to renegotiate the price after the fact.  Sigh.  I also took out all the screens - he said he'd wash those as well as the window sills (which are quite filthy, I have to admit.  I am slacking on cleaning.  You know I hate that stuff.)

Meanwhile, I got into it with the village again.  They told me in June, right before we left for Chicago, that they couldn't see the fire hydrant.  So, in July, I cut back the grass that was "in violation" - although it was planted outside the radius, it was drooping over.  I saw the utility markings and flags the other day, and then they pulled up in their truck while I was out raking up pine needles for the third time.  (I finally just put them all on the spite berm, since the mulch won't stay and I'm tired of paying for more mulch to disappear.)  They just said "Hi," in a really snide manner.  So, after they left, I went and got my phone and a tape measure to show that I was in compliance with their ordinance.  I cut down additional grass for good measure, and then started emailing people.  "Shane" responded to say that since they hadn't heard from me, they were going to go ahead and clear things up and charge me for it.  I told them I was in compliance, and if they wanted to remove anything outside the 4 foot radius, they could go ahead at their own expense.  Or maybe paint the fire hydrant a different color since they can't see it in the constant shade.  I also threw you and BW under the bus, complaining about how I told you that I didn't think planting things there was a good idea, but you went ahead and did it anyway.  Now I get to pay for your poor choices.  

I am also signing up for a watch show that your associate PD is throwing.  It's about halfway between our house and his.  I think it will be a good place to let go of some of your stuff.  First, I have to get an idea of what the stuff is, and what it's worth.  Then I'll have to cart it all down there.  It's a 2 hour drive, so, not terrible.  And some of the guys from the FB group are already sniffing around.  PD shut them down - he seems like a good guy.  

Power Ball is up to almost $2 billion.  You know what would be nice?  If you could pick the numbers on my ticket for me - I would like to be a billionaire (at least for the 15 minutes before I started spending it.)